Shoreham seeking funding for town shed

SHOREHAM — The Shoreham selectboard is aggressively searching for grants to help defray the cost of a salt-sand shed that they said is urgently needed to ensure the community can effectively keep its roads clear and safe during winter weather.
Shoreham currently stores the bulk of its salt reserves in Bridport, which has generously offered space in its shed. Shoreham facilities can now only store around a tandem truck load’s worth of salt at this point, according to Selectman Loren Wood. There are roughly 62 miles of road in the town of Shoreham.
“It’s probably not enough to deal with a big ice storm,” he said of the town’s local salt reserves.
“We’ve got to do something about it.”
So town officials have been pricing out a basic structure that could accommodate Shoreham’s yearly sand and salt stockpiles, as well as a municipal grader that now has had to be stored outside recently due to a lack of garage space.
Selectwoman Karen Shackett said a basic shed — possessing a canvas roof and a concrete base — is estimated to cost upwards of $180,000. Shoreham owns land behind its town garage, and adjacent to the town green, on which the new salt-sand shed could be sited, officials said.
Shackett said the town, through the Addison County Regional Planning Commission, has applied for a $50,000 state grant to cover a portion of the shed costs. She noted Shoreham maintains a capital reserve fund that could be tapped for some additional money.
Wood believes the town could realize additional money for the project through its sale of an approximately 5-acre parcel near the Golden Russet Farm, at the corner of Lapham Bay and Happy Valley Roads. Local voters last year authorized the selectboard to sell the so-called “Morton park” property, and place the proceeds into the municipal Building Reserve Fund.
The Morton Farm property is essentially ready for development, with access to electricity and Tri-Town water, according to Wood.
Ultimately, the selectboard doesn’t want to pitch a project that would place a significant financial burden on local taxpayers, so the accumulation of grants and a land sale would be a great help.
Shackett said townspeople could be asked to approve a salt-sand shed project as soon as town meeting next March.
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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